• Wayne County tries to curb retroactive deals

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    Commission tentatively OKs ordinance to ensure contracts approved before work done

    By Steve Pardo

    Detroit — Wayne County commissioners are looking to halt retroactive contracts presented for their approval months or even a year after work was performed.

    Commissioners approved the first reading of an ordinance Tuesday that would strengthen the rules on submitting contracts for payment to people or companies who performed work before approval by county commissioners.

    As many as 20-30 percent of the contracts are retroactive, commissioners said. By law, contracts worth more than $50,000 go before the commission for approval. But a contract that at first comes in under the limit often has a way of growing, prompting the retroactive approval by officials.

    By that time, commissioners have little choice but to approve or risk legal action, they said.

    “I feel like I have a gun against my head when I’ve been told a contract’s already been done and I’m told to pay,” said Commissioner Raymond Basham, D-Taylor, who chairs the three-member subcommittee exploring the issue.

    Commissioners are expected to vote to approve a new ordinance next month.

    Read the entire article in the Detroit News

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